14 March 2002
Vocational training of young asylum seekers in host countries
Committee on Culture, Science and Education
Rapporteur: Mrs. Johanna Schicker, Austria, Socialist Group
I. New information and communication technologies
The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography has presented an excellent report and I can only congratulate the Rapporteur, Mrs Zwerver, for her work. The objective of the present opinion is simply to emphasise one specific aspect, that of using new information and communication technologies (NICT) both in the process of training asylum seekers and as an object of study for asylum seekers during their vocational training.
Statistics show that the number of persons using computers at work, in most sectors, is constantly increasing.
Therefore, the difference between those who have and those who do not have access to and skills in NICT cannot be ignored. The effects are more and more visible from one day to another.
The Parliamentary Assembly has already stressed, in its Recommendation 1379 (1998) on basic education in science and technology, the need to give all young people access to NICT. The report on the training of workers in the use of new technologies, being prepared by Mr Birraux for the Committee on Social, Health and Family Affairs, also underlines the importance of training in NICT for social cohesion.
Therefore, in the framework of the vocational training of asylum seekers (young people being preponderant among them), a high emphasis should be put on training in the use of NICT, with a view to facilitate the integration of asylum seekers in the labour market.
In order to familiarise asylum seekers with NICT and to permit a better understanding of their implications in today’s society, NICT should be used as much as possible in the very process of training. The Internet, e-mail contact, CD-ROMs, DVDs, satellite and cable TV must be part of the means used to train asylum seekers.
Moreover, the fact that asylum seekers are often physically isolated from society, by living in reception centres, leads to difficulties in establishing direct contacts with firms that might offer them jobs. Intensive use of NICT in training would bypass this kind of barrier.
Asylum seekers may include people with a high potential in the field of NICT, but who risk having this potential unexploited simply because they never had the opportunity of actually using computers. Not taking benefit of this potential would be an important loss for the society that will eventually integrate these people.
I therefore suggest the following amendment to the draft recommendation:
“Insert, between sub-paragraphs 6 i d and 6 i e of the draft recommendation, a new sub-paragraph:
“encourage increasing use of new information and communication technologies (NICT) throughout vocational training and also emphasise the training of asylum seekers in the field itself of NICT.””
II. Future work of the Assembly
The report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography goes rather beyond the area specified in its title and deals also with issues such as language training.
The draft order presented includes an instruction to the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography to analyse the broader issue of education and training of young migrants in the member States of the Council of Europe. Mr Saglam is already working on a report on education for refugees and displaced people for the Committee on Culture, Science and Education. These two reports could complement one another and might be debated together by the Assembly. This situation should be clarified.
I therefore suggest the following amendment to the draft order:
“Insert, in sub-paragraphs 4 ii of the draft order, after the word “analyse”, the words, “together with the Committee on Culture, Science and Education,”.
Committee for report: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography (Doc.
Committee for opinion: Committee on Culture, Science and Education
Reference to the committee: Doc. 7758, Reference No. 2167 of 19 Marche 1997
Secretariat of the Committee: Mr Grayson, Mr Ary, Mr Torcatoriu